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4.8 out of 5 stars24
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 2001
Shotokan may be the most disgustingly rigid martial art I have encountered but the mind that bore it fruit was truly great. The entire history of karate could not be covered as the book only spends the required time describing this.
The range of kata is almost all encompassing, only missing Meikyo. A high elite kata that should not be written down as it is only teachable by tutor.
The portion on kumite sparring is interesting and insightful however it does embody all I dislike about "sport" karate.
Despite this anyone can enjoy this book, whether practicing spiritual or sport karate. It is an awesome supplement to training but descriptions are too detailed and complex to be used alone so make sure you learn them at the dojo first!
This book is well worth it at twice the price and is the first karate book you should buy
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on 30 July 2001
This book is an essential work for anyone wishing to begin to understand karate Do. It contains interesting lessons and an encyclopedia of techniques - many of which have been dropped or changed since it was published. Essential for any serious karate ka.
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on 22 June 1999
Look no further, written by the Father of the art and translated and demonstrated by the greatest living master of the art. Many katas I learned straight out of the book and every time I look something up I learn something new. It's priceless.
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on 2 May 2010
Karate-Do Kyohan was the first written text book of Karate, all Karate, not just Shotokan (and I am a Shotokan practitioner!. At a time when Karate had to evolve just to survive the Meiji Restoration,Funakoshi and his great teachers Itosu and Azato conspired to evolve Karate into a system of physical exercise. Encouraged by interest from military and governmental departments in both Ryukyu and Japan, these visionary men were the projanitors of the modern sporting phenomena we know today.

Unwilling to completely dilute his art from the deadly personal protection system that had been used by generations of royal bodyguards on Okinawa, Funakoshi includes, albeit at times vaguely, historical data that provides us with clues as to the true nature of his art, including the use of dirty tactics such as grabbing, wrestling and spitting at your opponent to distract them before applying a finishing technique and escape.

Often maligned these days for weakening a great fighting art, Gichin Fubakoshi's and indeed Itosu's decision to modify their art was a necessary evil to ensure the survival of Karate Do due to the Meiji regime's hatred of anything too old fashioned or barbaric. Take the time to read the text in this record and all the clues as to how Karate was originally intended to be used, as a brutal and practical self - protection system, are there. It is up to us as studious Karateka, to look at and extract the clues that were left to us in this and other texts of that time, written by the men who created and developed our art. I'm of no doubt that they knew a damn sight more about it than you or I. To criticise the teachings of men of the incredible calibre of Gichin Funakoshi is both ignorant and extremely arrogant!

Karate Do Kyohan is a piece of Karate History that every serious Karate student should have in their library.
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on 31 October 1996
Particularly useful for its written description of kata
applications. Non-black belts should consult their sensei
before using the photographs as a guide for their form;
some techniques have evolved (note the back-stance photos)
since its original 1958 publication.

Consider using Nakayama's "Best Karate" series for its
photographs, and this text as a historical reference and
companion for its excellent written detail. See Funakoshi's
"Karate-do: My Way of Life" for more historical information.
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on 19 July 1999
There are ton of books and manuals that have a hard time coming close to this one. While reading this you get a good feel that "he's done this before". You can tell his is a professional and loves his work... this makes it easy to read and learn -- from the 4 other books I've bought on the subject and trained with - this one easily outshine the others...
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on 7 December 1998
This is clearly the master text. If you study Shotokan and wish to understand the teachings of Funakoshi, this is the book. An excellent reference for both teacher to refine his skills and student to assure they have learned properly.
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on 14 April 1998
As a beginning Shotokan student, this book has been invaluable to me. It covers all the aspects of Shotokan from the body to the mind. It truly is the Master Text.
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on 2 July 2009
I have been doing Shotokan Karate for almost 4 years and I have always wanted to have some kind of media where I can study and review the basics of this martial art.

There are lots of resources on the Internet, but I like not having to turn on the computer each time I want to look up a certain kata form or technique.

This excellent book comes to solve this problem. Its pages are imbueded with the spirit of the old Shotokan Karate. Each black and white photo goes with a clear text description. You can find from something so basic as how to close your fist to a definiton of vital points.

These are the contents:

1.- Introduction. Karate and Karate-do, The Way from Techniques, The Development of Karate, Kata, Public Introduction of Karate, The Value of Karate.

2.- Fundamental Elements. The Hand, Stances, Hand Techniques, Foot Techniques.

3.- Basic Training.

4.- The Kata. Names of the Kata, Advice on Training, Line of Movement, The Kata.

5.- Engagement Matches. Significance of Matching, Basic Sparring, Iai, Throwing Techniques, Weapons and Karate-do, Self-defense for Women.

6.- Vital Point of the Human Body. Definition, The Vital Points.

7.- Maxims for the Trainee. How to Make a Makiwara.
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on 7 February 1998
I love this book. I teach Shotokan Karate and have read and re-read this book hundreds of times. I have no doubts that this book is a difinitive on the subject.If you love Shotokan Karate get your credit card out and order this Book ASAP.
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